As an individual laundry owner, what can you do to protect your interests and keep your insurance costs as low as possible in today’s market? Make sure you take these steps toward lowering your insurance premiums.
Shop your insurance every year
It takes time and effort, but it really does pay to shop around each year. Rates change; coverage changes; loss experience changes; the quantity and quality of insurers offering policies to coin laundries change; and so many other factors affecting what you pay for insurance change each and every year. As an independent, multi-carrier agency, CLA Insurance shops the market for you each year.
Self-insure small property claims
Past claims history affects what you pay for insurance, and sometimes it is in your long-term benefit to pay the smaller property claims out of your own pocket. It can be frustrating to pay it yourself, but keeping a clean record can go a long way to saving you money year-in and year-out. Of course, slips, trips, and falls and other incidents involving potential liability such as injuries to a customer or employee is another story, and should always be reported immediately. Do not try to self-insure a potential liability claim. Whether you’re dealing with a property claim or liability claim, take advantage of your agent’s expertise. If you are unsure, give your agent a call before reporting a claim to the carrier.
Update your values
It is important to update your policy each year, especially the values for business personal property. If you have a replacement cost policy, make sure that the values called for in your policy are sufficient for replacing all of the equipment and leasehold improvements in your store. Remember that you as the insured set the values being covered, not the insurance company. If you are insuring the business personal property at $100,000, and after a fire you determine that it will cost $200,000 to re-open the store, your insurance company will never pay in excess of the policy limits. Never skimp on the values in order to save on your premium – when a loss comes it pays to be adequately covered. The same advice goes for those of you who own your building – keep in mind what it would cost to rebuild, not the market appraisal value for sale of the building.
Understand your policy and check for accuracy
Make sure that your agent helps you to fully understand what is covered and what is not covered under your current policy. Review the policy from time to time to make sure that it covers all the exposures you currently have with your business. Rely on your insurance professional to ensure that your business is carrying all the protection it needs to survive a disaster. Also, check for accuracy because it is your business. Be sure that your agent used the correct information when having your policy rated and underwritten. Make sure your policy accurately reflects your hours of operation; the number of hours that the store is attended; and the construction type of the building that houses your store. Inaccurate underwriting information can lead to denied claims coverage down the road.
Know the financial strength of your carrier
Using an insurance agent who has experience and expertise in your industry is very important, but it is only part of what you need to look for when placing your insurance. The quality and strength of the insurance carrier responsible for standing behind your policy can mean the difference between surviving a loss and being left to shoulder the burden yourself. Insurance carriers are rated for financial strength by a number of services including A.M. Best. These ratings are expressed by a letter grade ranging from “A++ (Superior)” to “F (in Liquidation).” To check on the financial strength of your carrier, visit ambest.com.
Make your store safer
Undertake a plan to make your store as safe as it can be. Safety doesn’t happen on its own; you have to take the lead. Start with a self-administered safety inspection and take a look at your store environment from the inside out.Request a Quote from Jason Rehor Today